chapter  6
38 Pages

The Greek Factor: The Ultimate Obstacle to Turkish Membership?

Introduction To some extent, the same consideration can be observed in Greece and in Turkey in relation to their foreign policy objective vis-à-vis the European Union. Both countries’ relations with the EU have rather been driven by their consciousness of long long-standing mutual hostility.1 Indeed, the timing of the Turkish application for associate membership can be viewed in the context of Turkey’s traditional concerns about Greek diplomacy, in that it feared that Greece would use its association with the EU to its advantage, in order to gain more concessions with regard to the issues between them (Birand, 1978; Eshe, 1990; Constant, 1991; Guvenc, 1995; Bahceli, 1995; Oguzlu, 1998). This was also the case for Greece: her traditional concern over Turkey constituted an important element in the decision of the Greek government in 1959 to negotiate an association agreement with the EU and apply for full membership in June 1975 (Christakis, 1993, p. 20).